Sometimes you need something sweet. You need it more than you need to freaking breathe. You aren’t getting anything else done until you’ve scoured your cabinets and found something sweet. Uh huh. I get it. I’ve been there. I still get there!!
There are several ways to keep that feeling at bay, but today we’re going to tackle it head on. I’m going to share with you some of the things I do when I just MUST have something sweet but don’t want to blow the day, go off the rails and undo the progress I’ve made.
I tend to use these strategies in order to see if I’m able to ride it out and have it pass or if I absolutely need to indulge.
- Go for a walk. I know, I know – it’s a stall tactic. A diversion. It sure is! Getting outside to clear my head settles me down. Often, my cravings arise from stress or emotion and I seem to settle down instantly when I slow down outside. If the weather is crappy I’ll jump on the treadmill and put something mindless on TV or listen to music that makes me want to dance.
- Take a hot shower. This is a reset button for me. It’s kind of funny how it works but taking a shower reminds me of how I want to take care of myself. I feel pampered, I feel like I’m making myself a priority. I use a luxurious exfoliating scrub and dry brush and more times than not I come out of the shower feeling slightly empowered. While I might still want something sweet, I’ve recharged my willpower battery and it’s easier to talk myself out of it.
- Chew sugar-free gum. If you know me, you know it’s a bad moment when I realize I’m out. I used this strategy during the afternoon at work all the time. I couldn’t exactly go for a walk or jump in the shower – it would be 3pm and all I could think about was the nut, chocolate and berry trail mix in the break room. Ahhh! Gotta have gum!! It saved me more times than I care to count. (Special shout out to my girlfriend Crystal who let me steal her gum allllll the time!)
- Have a diet soda. Before you jump out and call me a hypocrite (but you can, I’ll confess to really loving Diet Coke) there are some healthier options out there which are really tasty! My favorite is Zevia. It’s sweetened with Stevia (a natural, calorie free sweetener) and the cream soda flavor is unreal.
- Protein power concoctions. I have created some pretty awesome (and absolutely terrible) protein-powder treats. They aren’t something I have every day but when needed, they do the trick for a sweet treat. My favorite is protein pudding. I’ll mix a scoop of protein powder with a drop or two of stevia, some vanilla extract, almond butter and just enough unsweetened almond milk to make it thick and creamy. So good! You can also find recipes online for protein microwave mug cakes (some of them are good, just don’t overcook them or they’ll literally turn into a brick).
- Bite and Toss. This one is reserved for the most extreme circumstances and requires tremendous self-discipline. This is not for amateurs. Haha. Here’s how it works: a few weeks ago I was at Trader Joe’s getting groceries. I was overcome with the most undeniable urge for their peanut butter cup trail mix. I couldn’t say no. I bought it. I couldn’t even wait until I got home! I ripped it open while driving (massive bag that should last a family a week and probably cost me $9) and shoved a handful of the deliciousness right into my face. As I enjoy every second, I realized I could probably devour the bag mindlessly before getting home. So, I did what any normal person would do. I folded it up, set it aside, and didn’t eat anymore. Hahahaha. Yeah right! Who are you kidding? I did no such thing. I rolled down my window, held the bag from the bottom and let allllllll the delicious nuts, berries and peanut butter cups fall along the highway at 65 mph. Uh huh. I sure did. That was me, shaking out the bag along I-40. It wasn’t the first time. I’ve also gone into Whole Foods, bought a cookie, stood in the parking lot to take a bite and then tossed the rest of the cookie in the trash before I could talk myself into finishing “just one harmless little cookie”. If you can’t say no, at least say “just a bite” and then get rid of the rest!! Fast!
I’m glad I can laugh at myself throughout this process. Man, food is complicated and those cravings can get way powerful, can’t they? Give a couple of these strategies a try and let me know what you think. Oh, and if I pass you along the highway and you’re chucking Oreos out the window, I’ll smile and wave.